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Dish pulls back from Softbank-Sprint deal as the DOJ asks the FCC for a delay

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Dish pulls back from Softbank-Sprint deal as the DOJ asks the FCC for a delay
Dish Network has been trying to block the purchase of 70% of Sprint by Japan's Softbank for rather selfish reasons. With an "indication of interest" on the table to purchase wireless network provider Clearwire, a bid that is higher than Sprint's bid for the same company, Dish knows that the failure of Softbank to buy the majority of the nation's third largest carrier would probably mean that Sprint could not afford to complete the deal. Sprint owns 50.45% of Clearwire and has offered $2.97 to buy the rest of the stock. Dish's offer is priced at $3.30. Sprint needs a majority of the minority shareholders to approve the deal, plus the usual regulatory approvals.

Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen is backing off Sprint and Softbank for now
While Dish has opposed the Softbank-Sprint deal rather loudly, in a letter to the FCC dated January 28th, the satellite television content provider said it had decided not to file to block the deal for the time being, citing its talks with Clearwire. Dish did say that it would participate in the next round of regulatory filings.

Meanwhile, the DOJ has asked the FCC to delay approving the proposed Sprint-Softbank deal. DOJ attorney Jennifer Rockoff sent a letter to the FCC asking them to hold off on approving the deal until all agencies have reviewed it. Apparently, the U.S. agencies involved have been doing their work looking at national security, law enforcement, and public safety issues, but this review is not yet complete. A Sprint spokesman called the DOJ request "routine" and says both Sprint and Softbank expect the deal to close in the middle of this year.

source: ZDNet via Reuters

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